Anything Goes


Comedy / Musical / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 83%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 20%
IMDb Rating 6.3 10 365

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
June 02, 2022 at 04:48 PM

Top cast

Bing Crosby as Billy Crocker
John Carradine as Bearded Ballet Master
Ida Lupino as Hope Harcourt
Ethel Merman as Reno Sweeney
846.37 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lugonian 7 / 10

A Damsel in Distress

ANYTHING GOES (Paramount, 1936), directed by Lewis Milestone, a movie musical based on the 1934 Cole Porter Broadway play starring William Gaxton, Ethel Merman and Victor Moore, is given the screen treatment with Bing Crosby and Charlie Ruggles in the Gaxton and Moore roles, and Merman reprising her stage performance. The movie version, as with most adaptations from stage to screen, has been altered and revised, leaving some of the original score intact, otherwise a traditionally predictable, often silly, mildly entertaining musical comedy that could be categorized as being more faithful to the play than the 1956 screen adaptation also starring Crosby, which borrowed the original title, used some of its original songs but had an entirely different scenario nonetheless.

The story opens in a cabaret where American entertainer Reno Sweeney (Ethel Merman) is performing the very night she is to set sail over to London. She loves Billy Crocker (Bing Crosby), an ambitious young man whose boss has left him in charge while away on vacation. As Reno is performing, Billy notices an attractive young girl (Ida Lupino) sitting at another table who appears to be depressed or in some kind of trouble. Moments later, a couple of men (Edward Gargan and Matt McHugh), actually hired detectives, take her away. Fearing she's being abducted against her will, Bill attempts to rescue this damsel in distress, but takes the advise of the men to mind his own business. While on the dock bidding Reno bon voyage, Billy sees the young damsel (actually Hope Harcourt, a runaway heiress being taken back to her family in England by Evelyn Oakleigh (Arthur Treacher) to marry a man she doesn't love) boarding the same ship, and rushes on moments before its departure. While on board, Billy disguises himself to keep from being recognized by his employer (Robert McWade) and avoid arrested as a stowaway. Aside from following Miss Harcourt, who has taken a liking to Billy during the ocean voyage, he joins forces with con man "Moonface" Martin (Charlie Ruggles), Public Enemy No. 13, masquerading as a clergyman, accompanied by Bonnie (Grace Bradley). Because of Billy's association with Moonface, Hope mistakes him for or a notorious gangster and avoids him after he and Martin are arrested and placed in the brig.

A Cole Porter score with much from the play discarded ("All Through the Night" is underscored), and new ones composed by others, the motion picture soundtrack to the final cut is as follows: "Anything Goes" (briefly sung by Ethel Merman during opening credits); "I Get a Kick Out of You" (sung by Merman); "There'll Always Be a Lady Fair" (sung by Chill Wills and the Avalon Boys); "Sailor Beware" (by Richard Whiting and Leo Robin/ sung by Bing Crosby); "There'll Always Be a Lady Fair" (reprise/Avalon Boys); "Moon Burn" (by Hoagy Carmichael and Edward Heyman/ sung by Crosby); "My Heart and I" (by Frederick Hollander/ sung by Crosby to Lupino); "You're the Tops" (sung by Merman and Crosby); "Shanghai-de-Ho" (by Hollander and Robin/ sung By Merman): and "You're the Tops" (reprise by Crosby and Merman). With much of the songs worked within the contest of the plot, only two are given the production treatment "I Get a Kick Out of You" with Merman sitting in a ring shaped carrier suspended from the ceiling in the cabaret sequence; and the finale "Shanghai De-Ho" performed by Merman dressed in Oriental costume for the Paramount news reel set in England during a rainy afternoon. The Crosby and Merman duet of "You're the Tops" is tops, even with its dated lyrics and in-jokes that might not be understood by today's generation. The humor from that same number predates those 1940s "Road" comedies starring Crosby and Bob Hope where Merman briefly sings in Crosby's voice and Crosby hers.

For anyone familiar with Ida Lupino's dramatic movie career that took off in the 1940s, and her directorial work shortly afterwards, may be surprised seeing this brunette a blonde appearing in a musical. This would be one of her rare opportunities in which the British-born actress would portray a character of her true heritage on the American screen. Others in the cast include: Margaret Dumont (taking time away from The Marx Brothers) as Mrs. Wentworth; Richard Carle as Bishop Henry Dobson; among others.

ANYTHING GOES might be mistaken as a 1930s Crosby musical that never made it to television. Due to the 1956 remake in name only, which had been shown on American Movie Classics around 1991-92, the television title to this version was retitled "Tops is the Limit." In recent years, it's cable television presentations were limited, notably presented as part of its "Best of Hollywood" series on the Disney Channel also during the mid 1990s.

With the title that might have been suited for pre-code films produced during 1930-33, ANYTHING GOES is typical boy meets girl/mistaken identity/shipboard romance plot highlighted by songs and fine cast that should please any fan of musicals such as this. (***)

Reviewed by bkoganbing 6 / 10

Back then, nothing went

The trouble with filming Cole Porter shows is that the book and lyrics were normally, so naughty, so risqué that it was inevitable those sharp eyed censors feasted mightily on cuts.

This first version of Anything Goes was no exception. All the naughty lyrics and risqué situations and dialog were cut out to make this product G rated. It wasn't until Kiss Me Kate was done in the 1950s that a really successful adaption of one of Cole Porter's Broadway shows was done. The best success Porter had on the screen was when he wrote directly FOR the screen. Born to Dance, Rosalie, High Society, etc.

What this Anything Goes has to recommend it was the fact that this was only one of two instances where Ethel Merman reprised one of her Broadway successes for the screen. At that she sung some G rated lyrics for the title song and I Get A Kick Out of You.

The only thing that Bing Crosby got to do in the movie that was from Cole Porter was a duet with Ethel Merman with You're the Top. If I had to nominate a song in history that's had more lyrics done for it would have to be this one. The melody is eternal and the lyrics are constantly being updated. Someone ought to investigate the Cole Porter estate and see just how many verses he actually wrote to You're the Top. Surely there haven't been any since 1964, but you can hear versions of You're the Top even today with up to date topical lyrics:

You're the Top, you're Madonna's reinvention

You're the Top, you're Bush's stolen election

Now I just made that up, but it's a tribute to a great songwriter and an eternal melody.

A whole bunch of Hollywood songwriters gave Bing Crosby some serviceable tunes for him, but it ain't Cole Porter. I think this has to do with the family image that Crosby had even back then. No naughty Cole Porter lyrics for Der Bingle.

Yet he has some moments with songs. I particular like the number he does from the ship's crow's nest, Sailor Beware. Good song, but it's a typical example of the cheap production numbers that Paramount gave Crosby at this time. If you look at it, try to imagine what Busby Berkeley would have done. He also has a nice ballad to sing to Ida Lupino in My Heart and I. Finally there's a song called Moonburn which sold a few 78 rpm platters back in the day. On record Crosby sings it with just the accompaniment of jazz pianist Joe Sullivan. It's classic Bing.

Charlie Ruggles was never bad in anything he did, but I do kind of wish that Victor Moore reprised his part from Anything Goes. He was a big hit on Broadway as squeamish Public Enemy 13, Moonface Martin.

Ida Lupino gives very little indication of the classic actress she became on screen. But she's serviceable as Bing's love interest.

Look at the trio of sailors singing, They'll Always Be a Lady Fair and you'll recognize Chill Wills.

Add to that a badly butchered job in editing and you haven't got one of Bing Crosby's best films, but still enjoyable for fans of Der Bingle like your's truly.

Reviewed by eschetic 8 / 10

Above average filming of classic Porter/Merman vehicle

Even though only four or five (depending on how you count) of Cole Porter's great songs were retained ["I Get A Out of You," "There Will Always Be A Lady Fair" (the sailor's quartet with reprises ), "You're The Top" (with reprises and bizarrely done up as the chorus to a "Shanghai-De-Ho" finale number"), "Anything Goes" (all too briefly in the opening credits and background score) and the haunting "All Through the Night" (sadly, surviving only in the overture in the TV print seen!) several of them with altered lyrics and the song cues very much in place for "You Do Something To Me"] and a passel of not bad others for crooner Crosby ["Steer By The North Star/Sailor Beware," "I'll Get a Moonburn," "My Heart and I"] added in typical Hollywood know-it-all fashion (Cole Porter was a particular victim of this syndrome) this essentially plot faithful, and decidedly all-star preservation of one of Porter's greatest hits is required viewing for anyone interested in "golden age" musicals and jolly good fun for anyone else, even in its lamely TV retitled and apparently badly edited "Tops Is The Limit" version.

Ethel Merman recreating her Broadway Reno Sweeney is at her best (possibly outshining even her later, smoother Broadway recreation in the film of CALL ME MADAM) and amply demonstrates why she (along with Mary Martin) was at the top of most lists of 20th Century musical theatre stars.

More than ample support is provided by Bing Crosby in the William Gaxton role of Billy Crocker (who Reno is attracted to but who hankers after runaway socialite Hope), Charlie Ruggles in the Victor Moore role of "Public Enemy #13, 'Moonface' Martin - on the lamb from the FBI, Ida Lupino as Hope Harcourt, Arthur Treacher as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh who is trying to bring Hope home to England to marry her, Margaret Dumont briefly seen as Mrs. Wentworth the owner of a kidnapped Peikinese, Charlie Chan's "Number One Son" Keye Luke & Philip Ahn as a pair of gambling Chinese and Grace Bradley as Moonface's moll Bonnie.

All are blissfully gathered (and some farcically hiding) on a ship crossing from New York to London. The original pre-Broadway rehearsal script had the cast shipwrecked, but the well publicized burning of the actual cruise ship Morro Castle off New Jersey while the show was in preparation made shipwrecks decidedly unPC for musical comedy so all the action was kept on board.

Few shipboard films (certainly not the bland and UNfaithful 1956 remake with Crosby and Mitzi Gaynor) have as much fun capturing an Atlantic crossing OR a Broadway show.

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